Donald Trump — August 30, 2017

Despite being maligned and disparaged by Trump, Mexico & a Canadian forest company are coming to Houston’s rescue

by

The outpouring of support and help from around the country and around the globe to help the people living in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey is as astonishing as it is heartwarming. There are a couple that are worth noting because they are the least likely to want to do ANYTHING to help Donald Trump’s America.

First, Mexico stands ready and willing to help its neighbor:

The Mexican government takes this opportunity to express its full solidarity with the people and government of the United States as a result of the damages caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, and expresses that it has offered to provide help and cooperation to the US government in order to deal with the impact of this natural disaster —as good neighbors should always do in trying times.

Not that Resident Trump has actually accepted their help (he hasn’t as of now.) But still, it’s a pretty impressive response given the disgusting, insulting, and embarrassing things Trump has said about Mexico and Mexicans over the past couple of years.

The second example is a little less obvious. The Canadian company Resolute Forest Products out of Montreal is sending a train car full of wood products to Houston to help them rebuild:

Why is this so surprising? Because this summer the Trump administration decided it was time to start a trade war with the Canadian forest products industry. Because much of their stock is harvested from government-owned forests, the Trump administration has decided that they are being subsidized by the Canadian government (who say they are NOT subsidizing the industry) and is imposing tariffs on Canadian wood products:

The U.S. will impose further punitive tariffs on imports of softwood lumber from Canada, escalating a longstanding trade dispute that’s already led to higher timber prices.

Preliminary anti-dumping duties of as much as 7.7 percent will be levied on Canadian producers, the U.S. Department of Commerce said Monday in a statement. The move follows the government’s decision in April to slap countervailing tariffs of up to 24.1 percent on shipments from Canadian companies including West Fraser Timber Co. and Canfor Corp.

This trade war is already raising costs here in the USA:

More than one-third of the lumber in the U.S. is Canadian. In April and June, in the latest salvo in a long-running trade war, the Trump administration added tariffs totaling nearly 27 percent on Canadian lumber. The move will increase lumber prices, add $1,701 to the price of the average single-family home and may already be reducing supply, according to a series of NAHB reports. […]

Then there’s hardware, flooring, steel molded doors, windows and what builders call “finishings,” the lighting, wall covering, fireplaces, countertops, appliances and other bells and whistles that go into a U.S. home. Nearly $11 billion worth of electrical equipment and household appliance imports were used in residential construction in 2015, according to the NAHB, which said even a 10 percent duty on those imports would raise the price of a home another $1,000.

Despite this, Resolute Forest Products is jumping up to help Americans deal with this catastrophe.

It’s refreshing to know that our North American neighbors aren’t as childish and nationalistic as Trump wants America to be. My guess is that they know Americans aren’t like Trump, not really.

Oh, one more thing: Guess who is benefitting from Trump’s trade war with Canada? You guessed it: Russia:

Russia has emerged as one of the winners from the trade dispute between Canada and the U.S over lumber.

The U.S. is importing more softwood lumber from overseas after it slapped tariffs on Canadian supplies, making them more expensive. Russian shipments are 42 per cent higher so far in 2017, according to U.S. government data.

It always seems to come back to Russia, doesn’t it?

[CC image credit: iPhoneDigital | Flickr]

  • judyms9

    Thank you for pointing out how quickly Mexico jumped up and offered assistance, and that Canadian lumber will be key to erecting modest homes for those who lost them. I hope Governor Abbott was quick to thank them in the effusive manner he has thanked Trump. (Rebuilding in the disaster areas should “trump” any planned tax cuts, according to Frank Langone, co-founder of Home Depot and well known conservative. I wonder why his sudden departure from the other wealthy who are demanding tax cuts. Home Depot won’t need corporate tax cuts once reconstruction begins and profits soar.)

    As for Russia, Trump should get Putin to cancel the big railroad deal Russia has with North Korea. http://thediplomat.com/2017/02/russias-love-affair-with-north-korea/ That Trump is failing to even make such a request, even through UN Sec. Haley, is quite telling.

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